FDA Approves New Weight Loss Drug: Wegovy (Semaglutide)Posted: June 9, 2021 in News, Obesity Medicine by Robert Ziltzer MD FACP
On June 4, 2021, the FDA approved Wegovy (Semaglutide) a weekly injection for the treatment of obesity.
As a medical weight clinic, we are always skeptical about new treatments for obesity, and for good reason. Marketers flood the web with miracle cures for obesity that often fail to deliver. Every once in a while, a drug comes to market that changes the landscape in the treatment of obesity. One such drug is Semaglutide.
What is Wegovy (Semaglutide)?
Semaglutide is a modified molecule our bodies make, GLP1. This protein is made in the intestine. It results in a decrease in blood sugars, and a marked decrease in appetite. A small change in the molecule allows the drug to last weeks in our bodies rather than minutes. Originally used for diabetes and sold under the name Ozempic®, a higher dose of the same drug was evaluated for weight loss. The results were dramatic.
In the study above, participants with obesity (BMI >30) or BMI >27 with risk factors for heart disease were given 2.4 mg Semaglutide each week for 68 weeks. The treatment group lost approximately 15% body weight (about 37 lb. for a 250 lb. individual), and the placebo group lost 2.4% body weight. Better results are expected when combined with medical diets and other anti-obesity medications.
How Does Wegovy (Semaglutide) Work?
- Delays stomach emptying, leading to a feeling of fullness and smaller meal size
- Slows intestinal motility
- Lowers blood sugars, in part by reducing the production of sugar in the liver
- Stimulates insulin secretion by the pancreas
More About Semaglutide
The Future of Weight Loss
Semaglutide was approved for the treatment of diabetes (type 2) at a dose of 1mg daily, and it offers some of the best weight loss results of any diabetes medication. The FDA has now approved the 2.4 mg dose for obesity, a tool that will bring hope to those suffering from this chronic disease.
Source: Holst, Jens J The physiology of glucagon-like peptide 1.Physiol Rev . 2007 Oct;87(4):1409-39.
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